(Application no. 15464/02)
14 November 2006
This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.
In the case of Drabicki v. Poland,
The European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:
Mr J. Casadevall,
Mr G. Bonello,
Mr K. Traja,
Mr S. Pavlovschi,
Mr L. Garlicki,
Ms L. Mijović, judges,
and Mrs F. Elens-Passos, Deputy Section Registrar,
Having deliberated in private on 24 October 2006,
Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW
A more detailed rendition of the relevant domestic law provisions is set out in the Court’s judgment in Krasuski v. Poland, no. 61444/00, §§ 34 46, ECHR 2005–... (extracts) and in Charzyński v. Poland (dec.), no. 15212/03, §§ 12 23, ECHR 2005–....
I. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION
“In the determination of his civil rights and obligations ..., everyone is entitled to a ... hearing within a reasonable time by [a] ... tribunal...”
The Court agrees that some delays in the procedure before the Supreme Court could be explained by the fact that, at the material time, the Supreme Court had to deal with an increased workload (see, Kępa v. Poland (dec.), no. 43978/98, 30 September 2003). However, the Court reiterates that, as it has repeatedly held, Article 6 § 1 imposes on the Contracting States the duty to organise their judicial systems in such a way that their courts can meet each of its requirements, including the obligation to hear cases within a reasonable time (see, amongst many other authorities, Muti v. Italy, judgment of 23 March 1994, Series A no. 281-C, p. 37, § 15 and Süssmann v. Germany, judgment of 16 September 1996, Reports of Judgments and Decision 1996 IV, p. 1190, § 57). The Court notes that, in the present case, the applicant’s cassation appeal lay dormant in the Supreme Court for over thirty months which constitutes an unreasonable delay (see Domańska v. Poland, no. 74073/01, 25 May 2004, § 32).
There has accordingly been a breach of Article 6 § 1.
II. ALLEGED VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 6 § 1 OF THE CONVENTION ON ACCOUNT OF THE UNFAIRNESS OF THE PROCEEDINGS
It follows that this complaint is manifestly ill founded and must be rejected in accordance with Article 35 §§ 3 and 4 of the Convention.
III. APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 41 OF THE CONVENTION
“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the Protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party.”
B. Costs and expenses
C. Default interest
FOR THESE REASONS, THE COURT UNANIMOUSLY
(a) that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months from the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 1,200 (one thousand two hundred euros) in respect of non-pecuniary damage, plus any tax that may be chargeable, to be converted into Polish zlotys at the rate applicable at the date of settlement;
(b) that from the expiry of the above-mentioned three months until settlement simple interest shall be payable on the above amount at a rate equal to the marginal lending rate of the European Central Bank during the default period plus three percentage points;
Done in English, and notified in writing on 14 November 2006, pursuant to Rule 77 §§ 2 and 3 of the Rules of Court.
Françoise Elens-Passos Nicolas Bratza
Deputy Registrar President